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Thread: I Walk Alone

  1. #1
    Member Becoming Brianna's Avatar
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    I Walk Alone

    I apologize in advance for this longwinded post but I have a lot to say covering almost seven hours out by myself. Despite the somber title I promise this is a happy story. This is not a stroll down the boulevard of broken dreams that Green Day sang about but rather a walk down a boulevard of broken barriers and shattered fears. Unfortunately I have no pictures. My selfie game is not on point and I didn't feel right asking anyone to take my photo, so my narrative will have to suffice. I hope that's okay.

    My family went to a get together today so I had the house to myself. I had some work to do and I didn't really want to go. Most of my extended family live three hours away and they're all really socially conservative so if any topics about my weight loss, life, or the first steps of my transition got out, it would not have ended well for me, so I decided to take the day for myself. I got myself ready to go around 10:00AM. Did my makeup, styled my hair as best I could and put on my favorite top. I snapped a quick photo of myself in makeup and then a big wave of anxiety hit me and I sat around my house for like 60-90 minutes trying to work up the nerve to take this step. I've never gone out alone before. Finally, I did. The weather was just too gorgeous for me not to try and the opportunity was too perfect. I thought about how my friend has invited me to come to SF for Pride and I thought "If I can't handle a walk around my hometown how on Earth am I going to handle one of the biggest gatherings of people in the world? That got me up and moving and I headed out the door.

    As I walked, I found myself at times humming David Bowie's "Rebel, Rebel." For some reason it felt appropriate After all, U was dressed in makeup a womens top jewelry and (for utilitarian purposes) male shorts and underwear over my panties and mens shoes (I don't have womens walking shoes yet). The initial walk down my street had me about ready to turn back go inside and throw up. I was so nervous but somehow I found it in me to push on. I made it to my bank and withdrew a little money. I received compliments from the teller on my shirt and jewelry. First human interaction cleared! And it was positive! I had wanted initially to go to a coffee shop downtown but I turned the other way toward one that is a little closer that caters mostly to the university in m y town because I was getting tired. One of the servers smiled at me and greeted me warmly. I asked for a low calorie drink and eventually settled on an unsweetened iced tea which I drank and then turned my way downtown after purchasing a bottle of water for the trip. A girl has to stay hydrated

    I made it to one of the coffee shops downtown (not my original intended destination but again I needed a rest. I'm still very big and moving isn't very easy. I ordered an iced coffee (which was just espresso water and ice and some sugar free caramel syrup. It tasted great. While there, I noticed that the plackard was full of advertisements for trans sensitivity in healthcare among other things. Including advertisement for a Pride 5K (I'll be out of town that day) and a Pride festival in July. I was so touched I nearly cried. This region really does care about us.

    Finally, I reached my destination. It was just a little up the road from the other one but I thought "I set out to go here so I should just do it." I did and ordered a seltzer water soda with lavender and lemon. It tasted pretty good. I noticed an older guy sitting alone reading one of the "Game of Thrones" books. I have never seen the show (I know. Shocker.) but I had to ask if the books were better than the show. He obliged me and allowed me to sit down at the seat across from him. I learned that he was a very well-read man. We talked about a variety of topics like George RR Martin's writing style, how it compares to other famous writers like Tolkien and Steinbeck, whether the show does the book justice, and even famous old movies and the actors that played in them. It was a wonderful conversation and I shook his hand after he turned to leave. Finished my soda snapped a quick photo of an inspirational sign that hung on the wall, and left. Here is what the sign said:

    "The best way to deal with an unfree world is to be so radically free that it is considered a revolutionary act." I nodded and smiled.

    About that time, I realized that I had been out for over three hours and talked to more people than I could count. And I didn't care anymore. I was having fun. Even though my voice still needs SERIOUS work. I sound way too quiet and I still don't know if my frequency is right. But it's the voice I have right now so it's the voice I use. And no it's nothing like my male voice though I probably just sound like an effeminate guy I did wonder if anyone cared or was laughing at me or could tell that I'm an early stage social transitioner but I couldn't let any of that bother me. I continued walking to a newly opened burrito shop that i had been wanting to try. I ordered the vegan burrito and a water. It was delicious. Just what I needed. (I'm neither vegetarian nor vegan but I needed to conserve calories so I went with the leanest option.) After chatting with the person who took my order a little bit about how business was since opening, I paid for a second water and hit the road again. This time pointed towards home.

    Right as I walked out, it started to rain, so I ducked into a toystore downtown to get some ideas of what to buy for my new nephew who is only 3.5 months old. Then I headed to an organic juice cafe right across the street (an unscheduled stop) to ride out the rain. I had a lemon ginger tonic iced with turmeric and cayenne sprinkles. It was good but a little too hot and sour for my taste. The young lady who took my order (and also complimented me on my shirt and necklace asking whether I was a Pisces (I am and I exhibit many of the traits of one) came by with six big orange slices on a plate for me. I asked her how much and she said they were free. I gleefully ate them as I finished my drink. All in all it was a lovely experience except that she repeatedly called me "sir." I can't blame her. I still look like a guy. But it was repeatedly hearing it in a short interval of time that gave me my first real instance of pronoun discomfort. I don't know yet what my pronouns are but I wasn't liking this. I know if I had corrected her she would have apologized and addressed me as I wished but given the way I looked it seemed silly to correct her so I just let it go.

    The rain subsided and stupidly I decided to browse one more store. It was a little knick knack store that changes its stock frequently. I have no idea why I went in but I was glad I did. I found some things that i think I'm going to get my friend for hosting me during Pride and the novelty magnets section I found very amusing. I also saw some books and things that might be interesting for my nephew. I decided to wait on purchasing anything because I had already done so much walking and didn't want to carry a bunch of bags home.

    As I left the store the heavens opened up. The downpour was absolutely torrential and I felt soaked in under a minute. A bus stopped close by me so I asked if they could take me home and they told me they couldn't since my house wasn't on their route. I could tell that the driver and passengers felt really bad for me but I told them I understood that they have to stick to their route and I respect that and we parted.

    In an attempt to get some temporary relief from the soaking I went into my local 7 eleven and purchased some water for me to drink over the course of the evening. I bought two since they were on sale. At this point my body felt like I couldn't take it anymore and it was the slowest slog I had been on in weeks to cover the last little bit to my house. My dad who got home about 45 minutes after I did told me I probably walked five miles today which is amazing considering the fact that last month I was winded just walking short distances. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. And I'm happy. I faced a big hurdle today and jumped it with relative ease. If I keep this up for the next month and a half I know I'll be able to handle the Pride festival and my friend and I will enjoy walking together just as we did years ago. I can't wait to see him, and for him to see me as I am and as I was always meant to be. I know a shopping trip is in order between now and then so that I have appropriate things to wear. We've talked about going to the opera and even possibly to a baseball game (My love of sports didn't die just because I'm transitioning ). I can dress casually for the game but I want something nice for the opera and possibly the parade. I think it's time for me to go get my first dress and maybe some skirts soon. I can't wait.

    Did anyone notice? Sure. Did anyone laugh? I bet they did although I never heard anything. Did any of it affect me? Not really. I can't control their reaction but I can control how I react to it and I am in control of my happiness. Right now I'm doing what makes me happy so I will continue to do it, and if anybody has an issue with that well that's not my problem or cross to bear.. This is a far cry from the confused crying mess I was earlier this week but it really is time for me to take charge and grow a thicker skin by not caring what other people think of me as I walk this road. I need to face the world as my true self whoever that is. Some people are going to love and accept me and I welcome them warmly and openly. I need all the support I can get. Some people aren't and that's okay. They might even be really mean about it but if I let their slings and arrows pierce me I will never survive. So I will continue and let folks decide whether they're with me or not. I will not allow them to decide what I do, especially on an issue this fundamental that I need to do. I need clarity on my gender identity and this is the only way to get it. To quote Invictus: "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul."

  2. #2
    Goddess-In-Training Macey's Avatar
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    You're my hero keep living it, Brianna!

  3. #3
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    Well, you are out there now! There is no going back! I am proud of you! Best wishes on your journey! Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

  4. #4
    Senior Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Bri, it sounds like you are discovering that, despite the challenges, you are much happier when you are expressing your true self. More motivated too! Five miles! I am impressed. I raise my glass to you, sister (tequila sunrise, in case your wondering). Well done. 😀
    On being misgendered, remember that most of the time, it's not malicious. Usually, it's simple ignorance. Less often, it's just inconsiderate people not caring how it affects us. In any case, a polite request, "Please. You'd be doing me a favor if you addressed me as 'ma'am", or miss, she, her, as context dictates. Most people will realize their mistake and apologize. Even the assholes will realize that their crassness has been noted by someone with more grace and class than they displayed.

  5. #5
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    This journey is a new discovery everyday so get used to that.
    Your story reads like many I have read on here and quite a lot like mine when I was starting out as well.
    Kudos to you going out and discovering.
    Head Executive Chief of the Dept of Redundancy Dept.

  6. #6
    Style Icon Sara Jessica's Avatar
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    You don't walk alone because every one of us who has taken the steps to enjoy our feminine expression in the real world, however that might manifest itself, has done the same thing as you.

    I'm not concerned about the mixed presentation for any other reason than what it means to you. You are on a weight loss journey but don't let that stop you from getting some female blendy clothing and walking shoes. Heck, female Nike running shoes are still the bomb if your heart is where it appears to be.
    Like a corpse deep in the earth I'm so alone, restless thoughts torment my soul, as fears they lay confirmed, but my life has always been this way - Virginia Astley, "Some Small Hope" (1986)
    Sunlight falls, my wings open wide. There's a beauty here I cannot deny - David Sylvian, "Orpheus" (1987)

  7. #7
    Senior Member phili's Avatar
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    Bravo Brianna! my first experience was similar- the world is fine with mixed gender cues, and I found that I felt freer- I didn't have to fit anyone's idea of how a male or female 'should' look or be- just be the person I am. And now that you are out in town, people expect to see you essentially trusting them - and it is a bigger and better world for it.
    We are all beautiful...!

  8. #8
    Member Becoming Brianna's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone! I love what life is teaching me so far and I can't wait to learn and discover more! I know for a fact that the young lady who misgendered me wasn't doing it on purpose (and as I said I didn't exactly give off a clear feminine signal even though I tried with my voice). I know she would have apologized profusely and addressed me properly had I asked. I let it go. Soon enough I'll look feminine enough where that shouldn't be a problem (I hope). I don't let my weight loss stop me I just can't buy so much at any one time so I have to pick what I buy. My wardrobe grows by the week though. Soon enough I'll have a completely female outfit to wear no matter the occasion and no reason whatsoever to care what anyone has to say about any of it. (That part's already true for that matter). All I know is that I absolutely freaking love life right now. I like myself so much. And it's the first time in forever that I've been able to say that. I don't even have to smile anymore. My eyes are doing it for me. My eyes never used to smile. There was almost always a tinge of sadness to them. Some have commented and even some of my friends have said that I glow in these pictures because I am so happy. I believe it, because I am. I can't believe I'm the same person I was just a few short months ago. This transformation has already been amazing and it's barely even started! I can't wait for more! Thank you for the support everyone! I couldn't have done this without you and I love you all!

  9. #9
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    A story with a lot of feeling.

    When you meet up with your friend you should make god company for each other.

    All the best again with your change of life.
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

  10. #10
    Member BTWimRobin's Avatar
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    Hi Brianna,
    It sounds like you had quite the adventure. Keep up the good work. You are doing great. I am so happy for you.

    Robin

  11. #11
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    I am really happy that you have gotten to the point of loving yourself because that is really an important part of this whole thing.
    Head Executive Chief of the Dept of Redundancy Dept.

  12. #12
    Twisted Sister Patience's Avatar
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    Nicely done. I too have no time for Game of Thrones, regardless of medium.

    I agree. You should get yourself some fem clothing asap. Check the dollar racks in thrift stores for a start. Add more expensive pieces when you have a better idea of what you like and what works for you.
    When all else fails, lower your standards.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Tracy Irving's Avatar
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    Brianna,
    Thank you for sharing your story. Next time bring an umbrella!

    Very nice last paragraph. I want everyone to find their own happiness, whatever it is.

  14. #14
    Member Lux's Avatar
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    Brianna, very nice thread and a very nice read.

    I absolutely have to say just how much braver you are than I was! I only went out at night in the beginning and would never have the strength/guts in a million years to go out in full daylight. I was such a vampire. Lol.

    Once you start going out and experience life in the real world as a woman, it’s hard to stop. But it’s a great journey.

    I wish you all the best moving forward!

  15. #15
    Member Becoming Brianna's Avatar
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    Thank you so much Ladies! For me, it comes down to this: not only do I feel more in touch and in tune with who I really am than I have ever felt, I also spent the better part of my first 29 years on this Earth in a state of near constant self-hatred. I'm not going back there. I'm done. No more self-hatred. No more sadness. No more shame. I'm just going out to live my life the way I need to in order to be happy. The people I need in my life will find me or I will find them. I know it's a little early to say this because pride month is June, but I'm trans and I'm proud! Personally, I think regardless of your identity and presentation you should say that everyday if you're finally living the life that is right for you and not hurting anyone else. Every day is your personal pride parade. Every month is pride month. So own it, flaunt it, and celebrate it however you see fit! Just be safe of course because there are people who don't understand and don't accept us and will be far less than civil about it. Your first duty is to protect yourself, but you also need to protect and nurture who you really are however you can and be as visible as you can. That's what I'm trying to do anyway.

  16. #16
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    Hi Brianna , The journey of a thousand miles starts with the First Step and you have already taken that step.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Orchid ..oo.
    Having my ears triple pierced is AWESOME, ~~......

    I can explain it to you, But I can't comprehend it for you !

    If at first you don't succeed, Then Skydiving isn't for you.

    Be careful what you wish for, Once you ring a bell , you just can't Un-Ring it !! !!

  17. #17
    Fashionista VeronicaMoonlit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becoming Brianna View Post
    so my narrative will have to suffice. I hope that's okay.
    More than okay and this was a great narrative of you being your awesome self.

    I will not allow them to decide what I do, especially on an issue this fundamental that I need to do. I need clarity on my gender identity and this is the only way to get it. To quote Invictus: "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul."
    First Star on the Right and straight on till morning.

    Kudos to you, Brianna.
    If you believe in it, makeup has a magic all it's own -- Sooner or Later (TV movie)
    We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?- Marianne Williamson
    Have I also not said that "This Thing of Ours" makes some of us a bit "Barefoot in the Head"? Well, it does.

  18. #18
    Member abbiedrake's Avatar
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    Good for you on owning it!!

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